Keeping up with Krazy.

I’m winding down the first half of semester, and it’s so far been incredible.

I get to write weekly news stories, and learn how to be a journalist, videographer and photojournalist all at once.

This week I wrote a story my Bollywood dance group, Khottey Sikkey (unpolished silver), helped create. Bollywood star Salman Khan is coming to New Zealand next week, and KS performed a flash mob in Queen Street to promote the event.

The show is a spin-off from Khan’s film franchise Dabangg, and is called ‘Da-Bang: The Tour’.

It’s a huge deal for the Auckland Indian community, and Bollywood fans everywhere, as Khan is one of the highest grossing actors of all time.

What got me interested in the story, however, was seeing how Khan and his controversial past would be received by the Auckland Indian community.

He has been arrested and jailed for poaching, accused of stalking and had cases filed against him for illegal possession of arms.

His most famous altercation is being involved in a drunk-driving hit and run that killed a homeless man.

Although he was acquitted of most of these crimes, the ‘not guilty’ verdict on his manslaughter charge is currently being challenged by the Indian Supreme Court.

Asking the surrounding crowd what they thought of Khan’s presence in NZ, I found their answers unsurprisingly disappointing: People didn’t really care.

Fans were so happy that their ‘Sallu bhai” (Brother Salman) was coming, they completely bypassed his ‘faults’.

After all, as one anti-Salman bystander commented, people love to forgive celebrities.

Look at the backlash NZ Immigration got when Chris Brown was refused entry to the country.

Look at how people still call Caitlyn Jenner ‘a hero’, even after she hypocritically trampled on gay marriages and (like Sallu) caused an accident that killed someone.

Look, if anyone understands the fascination with celebrities, it’s me (*cough One Direction cough*).

But, I feel it’s important not to get swept up in their glamour and ignore the bad stuff.

Now we could say that poor Salman has just had a series of unfortunate events follow him. That his driver killed that homeless man, that forest rangers framed him (re. the) poaching), that Aishwarya Rai is delusional (re. the stalking) and so on and so forth.

Or, we could admit that he has done horrible shit (and that his movies in the past ten years have been awful. But, I digress).

I’ll still watch Hum Aapke Hai Kaun. And I’ll still feel sorry for Aman in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. But I won’t ignore the problem we’ve got with being celebrity-worshiping sheeple.

Maybe it’s a learning process. I know it is for me.

I hope Salman and co. have a nice stay in NZ. And, I hope the rest of us trade our rose-coloured glasses for sceptical spectacles.

At least now and then.


One thought on “Keeping up with Krazy.

  1. To be honest I think theres alot of society that condone unethical actions by most celebrities.For instance, look at the hell Aaron Smith got after cheating in his partner,Ali Williams who did cocaine, Tony Woodcock who got done drink driving. They weren’t really let off the hook by the NZ public. Whereas Daniel Carter, one of NZs icons, of one of those people who did get away quite lightly in the public eye after drink driving. If we look at even some of the greatest icons in history such as Martin Luther King, everyone knows him for the great civil rights movements that he helped lead. However very few would remember him for the adultery that he also committed. So often it seems like it depends on how famous/loved the celebrity is. If we look at how Tiger Woods’ life has ended up after his affairs, hes struggling to come anywhere near top 100 after being number one so long.The public gave him hell. Cooporations wont have his face anymore. It is these few like Salman who are so loved, that even media may try and downplay or justify their actions, and let it slide as mistakes. For me, whilst girls were screaming for Chris Brown to come to NZ, I was praising immigration for saying no to him, and making a statement that violence is not okay. Those girls may not approve of his mistake, but would rationally let it slide in their heads because they love him so much. When we look at some of the people who support Trump. Most of the things Trump says and does are disapproved by the majority of Americans and people around the world. Yet his supporters continue to stand by him no matter what. Its this kind of rationalisation that makes humans justify the actions of people they look up to and love, and sometimes its not that simple to convince them otherwise.


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